Christopher Fabian co-created and has co-lead UNICEF’s Innovation Unit in New York since 2007.
Working with UNICEF’s 135 country offices, the Innovation Unit’s research and development priorities focus on near-term challenges in the world’s most difficult operating environments. The Unit also looks into the three-to-five year future. The Unit’s accomplishments have garnered global recognition, notably: Top 50 Innovations of 2011 from Time Magazine, and, in 2012, gold and silver IDSA awards, and a Redhat prize for being one of the three top open source projects, and recognition as one of the most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company in 2014.
Christopher believes that technology is not the end-product of innovation, but a principal driver of new ways of thinking about development problems. The Unit’s commitment to open-source engagements, determination to learn from failure, and realization that local talent must be front-and-center in creating successful local solutions has positioned UNICEF as a global leader in innovation for development.
Christopher is most proud of his work identifying, mentoring and promoting local leaders, designers and innovators around the world. Convinced that global, authentic, and humble engagement among academia, the private sector and civil society can create global change, Christopher has taught and lectured at NYU, the Art Center, Columbia University, Harvard University and IIT Delhi among other universities.
Prior to joining UNICEF in 2006, Christopher taught in Lebanon and launched start-ups in East Africa and Egypt. He holds degrees in Philosophy from American University in Cairo, and in Media Studies from the New School in New York. In 2013, he was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people.